McLaren Vale | 2002
This vintage has produced some exceptional wines despite lower than average yields in many of the vineyards.
Poor set on most varieties from the cool windy spring weather as well as lower fruitfulness from the previous spring left many of McLaren Vale's vineyards with yields between 20% to 40% lower than average.
Many winemakers compared the 2002 vintage with that of McLaren Vale's 1990 and 1998 vintages. Desirable levels of flavour were the highlight of the vintage and intense flavours were evident in most varieties according to several winemakers. The summer was South Australia's coolest on record and allowed for a cooler ripening period for all varieties meaning flavour ripeness was gained at high sugar levels, while good natural acidity was maintained.
Shiraz showed intense colour, structured tannins and flavours and ideal levels of natural acidity.
All indications were that the wines from the 2002 vintage in McLaren Vale were well-balanced wines that showed potential to develop comfortably with age.
Barossa Valley | 2002
After an unusually cool summer and a gentle autumn, the Barossa regions of Barossa Valley and Eden Valley experienced one of their mildest and best quality vintages during 2002. The moderate day-time temperatures, which only rose above 40°C several times between November and February, and text-book January rains which maintained sub-soil moisture levels, provided perfect weather for growing and ripening wine grapes.
In the Barossa Valley this led to exceptional Shiraz with the desirable combination of ripeness and balanced acidity. Most winemakers predicted that the 2002 Shiraz would have the intensity and fruit definition of the famous 1998 vintage, but with a more elegant structure from the finer tannins. Yields were down by 10% to 15% in 2000.
Overall, 2002 was reflection of the reliability and consistency of the Barossa Valley.